Trapiche, Pure Malbec 2013, Argentina
The news may not have hit the headlines just yet, but this Thursday, April 17th 2014, is 'World Malbec Day'. Yes, it's another in the proliferating mass of faintly ridiculous celebration days that have sprung up as a means of marketing all sorts of things from cheese to chocolate, but who am I to spoil the fun - especially when the Malbec grape genuinely is one worth celebrating?
Though it is a minor player in Bordeaux and other wine regions, there are two real global hotspots for the Malbec grape: its original home in Cahors in the South West of France, and in the last few decades, the Mendoza region of Argentina. Though Cahors continues to make some stunning wines from the variety, it is Argentina that for many people has become synonymous with Malbec. And this example comes from a producer called Trapiche that is something of a Malbec specialist. Long-established in the Mendoza region, their vineyards lie high against the Andes with some real altitude to bring a cool freshness to the grape vines even in the Argentinian desert heat.
The 'Pure' in the name refers to the fact that it is an unoaked wine. The nose has a pleasing lift and brightness, with ashy and floral aspects and a touch of pepper over lively cherry and black berry fruit. On the palate the absence of smoothing oak is felt not just in the freshness of the wine, but in a fairly strident backbone of tannin and acidity that means this really is a food wine. The grip and exposed structure of the wine would support the juiciness of the fruit nicely if matched to a good steak, but please do watch the video for more information on the wine and for specific food-matching ideas. It costs £8.99 from The Co-operative. Happy World Malbec Day!